Women in Turkey 土耳其妇女
Behind the veil 面纱背后
Women’s influence in politics is growing, but it is still small
May 12th 2011 | ISTANBUL | from the print edition
THIS week in Istanbul 13 European countries signed a Council of Europe convention on combating violence against women. All 47 members were urged to comply. Turkey pushed hard for the convention, which calls for hotlines, shelters and legal aid for abused women.
So it should. Turkey ranks with Russia as one of the worst countries in Europe for abuse of women. By the government’s admission, five women a day were killed by abusers in the first seven months of 2009. A chilling new report from Human Rights Watch, an advocacy group, suggests that the situation is getting worse. It finds that 42% of women over 15 have suffered physical or sexual violence; they are vulnerable even when pregnant. Asli, a 21-year old Kurdish woman, was injected with poison, beaten and raped by her husband and in-laws, and locked in a barn without food or water. She decided to seek help from local prosecutors after her father-in-law burned her arm and declared that “I didn’t just get you here for my son, but also for my pleasure.” But the prosecutors never contacted her, and she now fears for her life. Asli’s story is all too common.
Turkey’s mildly Islamist Justice and Development (AK) party is credited with making unprecedented reforms to protect women since it came to power in 2002. The laws are, however, spottily implemented. Single women, divorcees and wives taken in illegal Islamic marriages are not covered. Police often turn away victims on the grounds that “family unity must be preserved.” Hulya Gulbahar, a feminist lawyer, says that Turkey’s overtly pious prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has set the wrong tone. “His diatribes against divorce and calls for women to bear at least three children have made things worse,” she claims. Turkey lags in equality, ranking 126 among 134 countries in the 2010 Global Gender Gap Index. Another study finds that women account for four-fifths of Turkey’s 5.7m illiterate people.
自从2002年上台以来，土耳其温和的伊斯兰教主义者正义与发展党进行了前所未有的改革来保护妇女是有目共睹的。然而，这些法律并非始终如一地实施。单身妇女，离婚女子和非法伊斯兰婚姻的妻子并不包括在内。警察经常拒绝援助受害者，理由是“家庭团结受到保护。” 女权主义律师胡尧·古尔巴哈（Hulya Gulbahar）说土耳其公开虔诚的总理热杰普·塔伊普·埃尔多安（Recep Tayyip Erdogan）已定错了调子。她声称“他反对离婚以及呼吁妇女至少生三个孩子的抨击使事情变得更糟糕。” 土耳其在平等方面处于落后地位。它在2010年全球性别差距指数中的134个国家中位居第126名。另一项研究发现妇女在土耳其五百七十万文盲人口中占了五分之四。
All this should provide fodder for the opposition in the run-up to a general election on June 12th. In fact, the rare talk of women in the campaign is mostly about footage posted on the internet showing candidates from the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) secretly filmed in compromising situations. The good news is that the number of women elected to the 550-seat parliament is expected to double from the current 50 (9%). But Turkey will still be behind other Muslim countries, such as Afghanistan (28%) and the United Arab Emirates (23%).
The best news is that women are getting organised. Those battling to end restrictions on the headscarf are among the most vocal. Secular women support the campaign to force parties to accept female candidates who cover their heads. “No headscarves, no votes,” is their slogan. Although Mr Erdogan and most of his cabinet are married to veiled women, the AK has nominated only one similarly pious woman, for an unwinnable seat. Mr Erdogan’s excuse is that his party was nearly banned in 2008 because of its efforts to lift the headscarf ban. A pro-AK newspaper columnist, Ali Bulac, provoked fury when he suggested that veiled women were “spies” acting for secularists or were exploiting their plight to advance their careers. “You would rather have us stay at home and wash your socks,” riposted Nihal Bengisu Karaca, a (veiled) columnist at the forefront of the campaign. Will she vote for AK anyway? “Absolutely not,” she says.
最好的消息是妇女正在组织起来。那些和结束对头巾限制的战斗的妇女是其中最喜欢畅所欲言的。世俗的妇女支持竞选运动来迫使各个党派接受戴头巾的女性候选人。“不戴头巾没有选票，”是他们的口号。虽然埃尔多安先生和他大部分的内阁成员同戴面纱的妇女结婚，正义与发展党已经为一个无法取胜的席位提名了唯一一位同埃尔多安类似虔诚的妇女作为候选人。埃尔多安的借口是他的政党在2008年因为其解除（撤销）头巾禁令的工作差点受到谴责。当一位倾向正义与发展党的报纸专栏作家阿里·布拉克(Ali Bulac)认为戴面纱的妇女是代理世俗主义者们的 “间谍”或正利用她们的困境来加速她们的职业进程时，他激起了人们的暴怒。 “你宁愿让我们留在家里洗袜子，” 竞选运动前线的一位（戴面纱）的专栏作家尼哈尔·本吉苏·卡瑞克（Nihal Bengisu Karaca）尖锐地反驳道。至少她会投正义与发展党的票吗？“当然不会，”她说。